Ohhhh The Destruction…
I didn’t post this in my vacation post cuz it wasn’t really a happy thing, but on Thursday I took a drive thru Stanley Park. If you live in Vancouver specifically or Canada in general you probably already know about the hurricane force storm we had in the start of december and how it knocked down a BUNCH (3,000 I think was the number) of trees in the park.
Now, regardless of what the tree huggers may tell you, Stanley Park IS a man made groomed forest. The thing is, it was man made like a hundred years ago. So it’s full of very large trees. One of my great happy places for years has been coming off the Lion’s Gate bridge from North or West Vancouver and taking the park drive to the downtown core instead of just the causeway. When I lived in the West End I did this virtually every time I crossed…no traffic to deal with and the pure joy of driving thru such a pristine forest… it was alwasy something. On a sunny day, the contrast of shadow and light and the smell of the trees is spectacular. If there’s a bit of mist it’s even sexier. It’s one of the few places I drive the speed limit or lower even if there’s no traffic. The ten or so minutes it takes to drive thru are incredibly relaxing and can really brighten dark spirits.
In the time since the big storm, I have noticed damage here and there; on the way to Deep Cove in particular there was a lot of damage. Even driving thru the causeway you have been able to see the remains of trees knocked down, as well as the odd massive root ball standing on it’s side. I have avoided doing the park drive cuz I didn’t want to cause issue for the cleanup, and I know parts of the road have been closed. Well, I did the drive, and I was amazed at the utter destruction. Where the park used to be a kind of tree tunnel you drove thru, there are literally hundreds of trees down now, and it’s opened it up. It completely changed the vibe thru there; around the hollow tree (if you know the drive you know what I’m speaking of) it’s almost like you’re driving along the big sur or something…open ocean out one side where it used to be a deep dark forest.
I got a little misty eyed as I drove thru; it’s still a beautiful drive, but the part that made it magic to me is gone now. The fact that it was a natural event takes the sting out a bit, but still, it will be years and years before that drive has the character it did 2 months ago.